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2023-06-21 13:26:42

Why intelligence and IQ are not the same thing

Why intelligence and IQ are not the same thing

We can often hear that people mean the degree of intelligence by the number of IQ points, but scientists say that this interpretation is wrong. It should be noted that IQ is one of the components of intelligence and cannot fully characterize all aspects of human abilities. Intelligence is a broader concept that includes various qualities and abilities of a person, can be defined as a set of mental, physical and emotional abilities that help a person to function successfully in society.

Intellectual abilities are not limited only to the ability to solve mathematical problems or read books, this includes emotional intelligence, which is not closely related to intelligence in the traditional sense. Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to understand and manage one's emotions as well as those of others, which helps to establish more effective interpersonal relationships and resolve conflicts.

Differences in intelligence and IQ

Intelligence and IQ are two different concepts that should not be confused with each other. Intelligence includes all the cognitive abilities of a person: knowledge, skills, critical thinking, speed of information processing and the ability to respond to situations. It is a holistic definition of personality and abilities.

However, a high IQ is not always an accurate indicator of a person's abilities. A person can be intellectually developed in one area, for example, in the exact sciences, but at the same time inferior in emotional intelligence to other people.

IQ is a quantitative assessment of the level of intelligence, based on a comparison of the average level of intelligence of representatives of a certain age or society. It cannot fully describe all the abilities of a person and is a very abstract indicator. In this sense, IQ can be compared to time, which describes only the movement of everything in the universe further forward, but does not reflect all the details and nuances of events.

How did the scale of measuring intelligence appear?

Initially, the coefficient was identified by the German scientist William Stern in 1912. He based his scale on the system of the French scientist Alfred Binet, who, when identifying intellectual abilities, focused on mental age, which could lead to erroneous results. Stern proposed to use as an indicator of intelligence the coefficient, which was calculated by dividing mental age by chronological. However, Binet and Stern did not consider the IQ as a complete assessment of a person's intellectual abilities, but only as a specific indicator of certain types of abilities. In addition, they did not believe that intelligence quotient is an innate parameter.

However, their colleagues in the United States, who adopted the concept of IQ, began to use it as an indicator of innate ability. In those days, the prevailing opinion in the United States was about the superiority of white people over blacks, men over women, and so on. The IQ test became a tool to confirm these dubious theories, as the data could be speculated and curated to support certain assumptions. Initially, the scale consisted of 7 categories: extremely low, borderline, below average, medium, above average, high and very high. Today, a similar scale is used, which allows you to visually assess the intelligence quotient, but at the same time has a serious drawback - abstractness.

Abstract IQ tests are a biased system

The problem with the abstractness of IQ tests is that they measure only the abstract part of the mind, that is, the ability to reason and think abstractly. This allows you to look at concepts beyond the physical world, recognize patterns, analyze ideas, and create something new. To measure this ability, puzzle-solving tasks, reaction time, completion of certain tasks, etc. IQ tests are good at assessing abilities in certain areas, usually in the exact sciences, but are not an indicator of general intelligence. This notion is even more vague and cannot be measured by a single test.

To assess general intelligence, it is necessary to pass several well-developed tests for logical-mathematical, bodily-kinetic, visual-spatial, social, personal and creative intelligence. Only after that it is possible to evaluate these components of general intelligence and come to certain conclusions! Measuring the intelligence quotient can lead to incorrect results, since only a certain ability to think is evaluated. However, judging by the numbers, a person may be on the same level as mentally handicapped people, although in fact he may be intellectually developed, but simply have a weakness in the area of thinking that is measured by IQ tests.

IQ tests can only assess certain aspects of intelligence, but cannot measure intelligence in general. They can be useful for assessing abilities in specific areas, but they cannot serve as the only indicator of intelligence.

Developed intelligence can also be with low IQ

It can be concluded that a high IQ is not a sufficient sign of developed intelligence. The use of IQ as the only measure of intelligence is outdated and does not take into account the full range of capabilities of the human mind. IQ tests conducted by renowned scientists show that they are average people.

However, the level of intelligence is determined not only by genetic factors, but also by the influence of the environment, education and upbringing. A large number of genes, more than 17,000, are responsible for the work of the brain, which indicates the versatility of the concept of intelligence. In this regard, the concept of IQ should not be reduced to the general category of intelligence.

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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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